Marion Bamford is the Director of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. She obtained all her degrees from Wits University and graduated with a PhD in 1990. She was employed at the Council for Geosciences in Pretoria for a short period before graduating. During her postdoctoral fellowship with funding from De Beers, she shifted to fossil wood anatomy for taxonomy, dating and palaeoclimate associated with the diamond deposits on the west coast. As there were no fossil wood experts in Africa Marion went to Brussels for training with the late Roger Dechamps at the Musée Royale de l’Afrique Centrale and then also to France to the University Paris-6 for training from Dr Jean-Claude Koeniguer and the University of Claude Bernard in Lyon with Prof Yves Lemoigne and Dr Marc Philippe. Apart from working on the ancient fossil gymnosperm woods of southern Africa Marion also works on dicot woods, charcoal, fossilised seeds, leaves, culms, pollen and phytoliths from archaeological sites and early hominid sites in South and East Africa. Marion is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and a member of the South African academy of Science. She has published over 80 scientific journal articles, 8 book chapters and delivered over 50 conference presentations.
Prof Bamford lectures palaeobotany to geology and biology students at Wits at undergraduate and Honours level. Apart from reviewing many manuscripts for journals and funding proposals for the NRF, PAST and other international bodies, she serves on the Wits Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee, ESI management Committee, ESI Post Graduate Committee and several local and international professional societies.